Goatsnake: Black Age Blues

Cult Californian stoner squad rise again.

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Though they never officially disbanded, Goatsnake have been dormant as a creative entity for 15 years, reuniting only for sporadic festival appearances.

Unusually, creative differences have played no part in this hiatus: rather, guitarist Greg Anderson has been occupied playing with his main band SunnO))), in addition to running Southern Lord records. Meanwhile, frontman Pete Stahl has been seeing the world as tour manager with Rival Sons, in addition to resurrecting DC hardcore stalwarts Scream.

Perhaps the most remarkable aspect of Black Age Blues, then, is just how seamlessly this comeback album leads on from 2000’s Flower Of Disease.

Always prioritising actual songs above mere riff workouts, there’s a warm, fuzzy familiarity to Goatsnake’s doomy, bluesy sound, with Stahl’s stirring, soulful vocals always elevating these southern gothic rumbles above the mundane, not least on the striking and rather beautiful seven-minute closer A Killing Blues./o:p

Paul Brannigan
Contributing Editor, Louder

A music writer since 1993, formerly Editor of Kerrang! and Planet Rock magazine (RIP), Paul Brannigan is a Contributing Editor to Louder. Having previously written books on Lemmy, Dave Grohl (the Sunday Times best-seller This Is A Call) and Metallica (Birth School Metallica Death, co-authored with Ian Winwood), his Eddie Van Halen biography (Eruption in the UK, Unchained in the US) emerged in 2021. He has written for Rolling Stone, Mojo and Q, hung out with Fugazi at Dischord House, flown on Ozzy Osbourne's private jet, played Angus Young's Gibson SG, and interviewed everyone from Aerosmith and Beastie Boys to Young Gods and ZZ Top. Born in the North of Ireland, Brannigan lives in North London and supports The Arsenal.